Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. It is a day of fasting and abstinence from meat. Across the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, Holy Mass including the distribution of ashes will be readily available in nearly all parishes. At St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral in Edinburgh this will occur at 8am, 10am, 12.45pm, 6pm in Polish and 7.30pm. All are very welcome.

To find Mass times elsewhere go to our website at or you can download the Catholic App onto your iPhone or Android. Using GPS, it will find all the Ash Wednesday Mass in your area and will give you directions to the church:

What is Lent? Well, according to the Gospels of St Matthew, St Mark and St Luke, Jesus Christ spent 40 days fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation by Satan. Lent originated as a mirroring of this: Fasting, praying and giving alms in preparation for the great Solemnity of Easter Sunday.

Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from palm branches blessed on the previous year's Palm Sunday, and placing them on the heads of penitents to the accompaniment of the words "Repent, and believe in the Gospel" or "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."